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Full text of "Letter to the Hon. George E. Badger, of the United States Senate, in vindication of the rights of the Cherokees in North Carolina to the neutral lands"

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W. H. MoOKB, Printer. 




T(.> THK 



"Washingtox, January 12, 1854. 
Sir : I beg leave to call your attention to the followino- expla- 
nation in re_<2:ar(i to the riii'hts of the North Carolina Chorokccs to 
the neutral landrJ, so called; which lands where proposed to be re- 
ceded to the United States by the delegation of AVestcrn Cher- 
okees sent to this place at the close of the last Congress, fully 
authorized by the Principal Chief of the nation to negotiate said 
sale. In the first place, I propose to show, by a part of the mes- 
sage of the rrinci[>al Chief to the National Council of the Chero- 
kee nation, which ap[»eared in the National Intelligencer of No- 
vember 15, 185:}, that hard measures have been assumed by the 
L'rincipal Chief against a portion of the Cherokee people remain- 
ing in the State of North Carolina, in which he says : 

'"That the late dclegalion to Washington fiiilcd in their mission to sell to the gov- 
ernment the neutral land, so called; and he protests against a claim set up on behalf 
of the Cherokces who remain in North Carolina to a certain interest in the proceeds of 
said land in case it should be re-purchased by the United States." 

"Whereas, by the assumption of the Principal Chief of makino- 
his protest a national topic, I beg leave respectfully to show by 
the stipulation of the several treaties negotiated with the Chero- 
kee tribe of Indians and the several acts of Congress, and also bv 
the acts of the Legislature of North Carolina, that the rights and 
claims of those Cherokces who remained in the State of North 
Carolina has ever been recognised. At the time the treaty of 
1835 was concluded, the land ceded under the first article was 
owned by the Eastern portion of the tribe, as will be seen by ref- 
erence to the census taken immediately preceding the date of the 

Article 1st provides as follows : 

" The Cherokee nation hereb}- cede, relinquish, and convey to the United States all 
the lands owned, claimed, or possessed by them east of the Mississippi river, &c., for 
and in consideration of the sum of five millions of dollars, to be expended, paid, and 
invested in the manner stipulated and agreed upon in the following articles.'' 

W. H. Moore, rnm. 

The second article provides as follows : 

"Whereas, by the treaty of May 6, 1828, and the supplementary treaty thereto of 
February 14, 1833, with the Cherokees west of the Mississippi, the United States guar- 
antied and secured, to be conveyed by patent to the Cherokee nation of Indians, the 
following tract of country," &c., &c., so as to "make seven millions of acres within the 
whole described boundaries." " In addition to the seven millions of acres of land thus 
provided for and bounded, the United States further guaranty to the nation a perpetual 
outlet west," &c. 

The last clause of this article provides that the United States, 
in consideration of live Imndred thousand dollars, to be deducted 
from the sum of five millions, stipulated to be paid bj- the United 
States for the cession of the lands cast of the Mississippi, in the 
first article, conveyed to the Cherokees the lands that is now pro- 
posed to be receded to the United States : 

" And whereas it is apprehended by the Cherokee people, that in the above cession 
there is not contained a suflicient quantit}' of land for the accommodation of the whole 
nation on their removal west of the Mississippi, the United States, in consideration of 
the sum of five hundred thousand dollars therefor, hereby covenant and agree to con- 
vey to the said Indians and their descendants, by patent, in fee simple, the following 
additional tract of land, situated between the west line of the State of Missouri and the 
Osage reservation, beginning at the southeast corner of the same, and running north 
along the east line of the Osage lands fifty miles, to the northeast corner thereof, and 
thence east to the west line of the State of Missouri ; thence with said line south fifty 
miles ; thence west to the place of beginning; estimated to contain eight hundred thous- 
and acres of land." 

The loth article of the treaty provides for deducting the $500,000 
given for the additional quantity of land aforementioned from the 
price of the lands ceded to the United States under the first article : 

" It is expressly understood and agreed between the parties to this treaty, that after 
deducting the amount which shall be actually expended for the payment of improve- 
ments," &c., "and the additional quantity of land," &c., the balance, whatever the 
same may be, shall be equally divided between all the people belonging to the Chero- 
kee nation east, according to the census just completed." 

The lands were held in common, as a familj^, not as a civilized 
nation, and the necessity of a census was to know with whom to 
treat and to whom to make payments. In comparing the census 
taken of the jSTorth Carolina Cherokees, under the act of July 29, 
1848, with the census taken of the tribe in 1835, it mil prove that 
those included in the latter were embraced in the former, not- 
withstanding the ISTorth Carolina Cherokees were neither present 
nor represented at the negotiation. The treaty, as its provisions 
show, was intended to be made acceptable to them in order to 
procure their acquiescence, and to induce them to surrender the 
country they occupied, which they held under a grant from the 
State, bearing date to wit : 

[Held at Hillsbokot.'jh on thk eighteenth or April, 1783.] 

'Chaptek ll.—[Paffe 447.] 

'• An act/or opvnin'j the land ojjicefor the redemption of specie and other certificates, and dit- 
charging the arrears to the army. 


" 5. And In- it further enacted hy the authorilif aforesaid, That the Cherokee Indians 
shall have ami enjoy all that tract of land hounded as follows, to wit: Beginning on the j 

Tennesson wiu'ie the southern Loundary of this State intersects the same, nearest the ' 

Chickainairga towns ; thence up the middle of the Tennessee and Ilolstein, to the middle 
of French Broad; thence up the middle of French Broad river, (which lines are not to 
include any island or islands in the said river,) to the mouth of Big Pidgeon rivers; o 

thence up the same to the head thereof; thence along the dividing ridge between the r" 

waters of Pidgeon river and Tuchasefah river, to the southern boundary of this State. 
And that the lands contained williin the aforesaid bounds shall be, and are hereby ' 

reserved unto the said Clarokee Indians and their nation forever, any thing herein to 
the contrary notwithstanding.'' 


" Sec. 6. And he it further enacted bi/ the authority aforesaid, That no person shall enter v 

and sVirvcy any lands within the bounds set apart for the said Cherokee Indians, under >i 

the penalty of fifiy pounds specie for everj' such entry so made; to be recovered in any 
court of law in tliis State, by and to the use of any person who will sue for the same ; 
and all such entries and grants thereupon, if any should be made, shall be utterly void. l 

" Sec. 7. Ami be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That no person, for any ^7 

consideration whatever, shall purchase, or buy, or take any gift or lease of any tract of /.. 

land within the said bound.-;, of any Indian or Indians, but all such bargains, sales, 
gifts, and leases shall be, and are hereby declared to be, null and void ; and the person v 

so purchasing, buying, leasing, or taking any gift of any laud of any Indian or Indian.s ' 

us aforesaid, shall moreover forfeit the sum of one hundred pounds specie for every ' 

hundred acres so purchased, bought, leased, or taken as aforesaid ; one-half to the use 
of the State, and the other half to him that will sue for the same ; to be recovered in 
the manner as aforesaid. r- 

''Sec. 8. And whereas the s&iA Indians may receive injuries from people hunting, V- 

ranging, or driving stocks of horses, cattle, or hogs on the lands hereby allotted them, 
for remedy whereol", be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, that it shall not be lawful for 
any person or persons whatsoever to hunt or range on the said lands, or to drive stocks 
of cattle, horses, or hogs thereon, on pain of forfeiting the sum of fifty pounds specie 
for every such otlence, together with such stock or stocks of horses, cattle, or hogs so 
driven ; to be recovered by any person who shall sue for the same, in the manner afore- 'i 

said." ^ 

It was known at the time of the treaty, that the Korth Caro- 
lina Chei-okees were opposed to the removal west, and the 12th 
article ]-)rovided that they conld have the right to remain in the 
State, and to ]aircliase lands for themselves to reside on while 
they chose to remain east. That article also |")rovided tliat thev 
should have pre-emption rights to [>urchase the lands, including 
their improvements. k 

The expenses of the removal, and of subsisting them one year 4 

after their removal west, and having their share of tlie land laid 
off for them, would, it Avas supposed, encourage them to remove 
and join the tril)e west. 

I am sorry to find the eonibination of the C'lierokee agent witli 
the authorities of the nation west, against the diminutive portion 
of the tribe remaining in the States east. In a letter dated " Sep- 
tember lo, 185o," to "Gov. Thos. T. DreAv, superintendent of 
Indian aifairs, Van Buren, Arkansas," which appeared in the 
annual report of George "W. Manyj)enny, (commissioner of Indian 
Affairs, 1853, page 141, jS^o. 48, in wdiich the former says : 

'' The Cherokee government has not yet effected any arrangement for the liquidation 
of its debt, and some of its creditors are getting clamorous for their money,'' &c. " A 
majority of the jjeople, however, prefer a retrocession of the neutral land to the United 
[States government, as a means of enabling the nation to pay its debts. This plan. I 
think, the most feasible at present, and would respectfully recommend that the United 
States government enter into negotiations with the Cherokees for that purpose. Much 
dissatistion exists here with those Cherokees who still reside in North Carolina, incon- 
sequence of their claiming an equal jycr capita interest in the neutral land. If those re- 
maining in Carolina would remove west and become citizens of this nation, they would 
be received and welcomed as friends and brotiiers, and at once admitted to equal rights 
with those now here; but while they remain citizens of a dillerent g(nernmcnt," &c., 
"I think the authorities here have good cause to protest against their right to any in- 
terest in this soil. I would therefore recommend that they be required to remove west, 
or abandon all claims to any interest in this country.'' 

It is much to be regretted that so little has transpired in the 
nation west since the emigration in 1838 to encourage those of 
the tribe remaining in the States east to unite with their brethren 
west, under the precarious circumstances of the nation. The 
war of extermination that has been waged between other portions 
of the tribe, covering the land with innocent blood, have driven 
hundreds of the tribe into the surrounding States, to obtain pro- 
tection for themselves and families, the tendency of wliich pre- 
vented the Cherokees remaining in the States east enjoying peace 
and quietness from joining their brethren west. 

The State of I^orth Carolina acquiesced in their remaining, by 
the legislature passing an act in 1836-37 for their protection, 
prescribing the mode of concluding legal contracts, and recog- 
nised their right to be represented by attorneys : 

'•That all contracts of every nature and description made after the eighteenth of 
May. one thousand eight hundred and thirty-eight, with the Cherokee Indians, or any 
person of Cherokee Indian blood within the second degree, for an amount equal to ten 
dollars or more, shall be null and void, unless some memorandum thereof be made in 
writing, and signed by such Indian, or person of Indian blood, or by some other person 
by him authorized, in the presence of two creditable witnesses, Avho shall also subscrilje 
the same.' ' 

Again, the legislature of Xorth Carolina passed the following 
resolutions in their favor : 


" Resolved, That our Senators and Representatives in the Congress of the United 
States are hereby requested to use their influence in favor of obtaining a Speedy settle- 
ment of the juot claimc of the Cherokee Indians residing in this State," <S:c. 


^- Jienohed. further, Ttiat his excclk-ncy the povornor be roquc.-tc-d to sciul a co[>y of 
thf ron.'rrc)iii<r resolution to tin- senators and representatives in (.'onj^ress. 

•• Keaii three times in the General Asscnihh . and ratified 'Jtli Jsuuuirv, ly-lo. 


•• Spai/iir nf l/ii llnufe of Comiimni. 

•• Spcii/ccr of the ^enatr.'' 

Tlic tivaty of 1S4G mado fiirtlK-r pi-ovisions for those ChorokoL's 
cast; it, liowcvcr, ostaldisliL-d tlu'ir riirlits to remain, wliik- they 
chose to do so in the ^States, and at any time they desired to re- 
move to the hinds oeeupied by the tribe west of the Mississii)]»i, 
they eoukl do so, fully reeognisinii" their riirhts to the lands west 
in common with the balance of the Cherokee people. 

The first article of that treaty jirovides : 

•• That the hind now occupied by the Clierol<ee nation .■<h(ill >>,• ffciirnl to the irhuli'. 
Cherokee peoji/e. for their couinion nsc and lieneht. and a patent shall be issued for the 
bame, includin};: the eiyrht hundred thousand acres purchased, together with the outlet 
west, promised by the L'nited States in conformity with the jirovisions relatin;: thereto, 
contained in the third article of the treaty of 1835, and in the third section of tiie iicl 
of Couofress approved May 28, 18;iU, which authorized the President of the United 
ytates, in making exchange of land with the Indian triljes, to «.««/•« the tribe or nation 
vith which the exchange is made, that the United Slates uill forever secure and ginirunlee to 
them and their heirs or successors the country so exchanged with them." 

The 4th article of the treaty provides that all portions of the 
Cherokee people, eastern as well as western Cherokces, shall have 
the same interest in the lands west, and that it shall not be re- 
garded as the exclusive property of any portion of the tribe: 

"And whereas it has been deciiled by the board of commissioners recently ap])ointed 
by the President of the United States to examine and adjust the claims and difhculties 
existing against and between the Cherokee people and the United States, as well as be- 
tween the Cherokces themselves, that under the provisions of the treaty of 1828, as 
well as in conformity with the general policy of the United States in relation to the 
Indian tribes, and the Cherokee nation in particular, that that portion of the Cherokee 
people known as the ' old settlers' or Western Cherokees. had no exclusive title to the 
territory ceded in that treaty, but that the same was intended for the use of, and to be 
the home for, the whole Cherokee nation. By the operation of the treaty of 1828 the 
Cherokees then west of the .Mississippi, by the equitable operation of the same treaty, 
acquired a common interest in the lands occupied by the Cherokees east of the Missis- 
sippi river, as well as those occupied by themselves west of that river, Avhich interest 
should have been provided for in the treaty of 1835." 

This article then provides that the United States shall compen- 
sate the Cherokees residing west at the time the treaty of 1835 
was concluded for their interest in the land east ceded under that 
treaty, which is shown by the following stipulation : 

'> In consideration of the foregoing on the part of the United States, the Western 
Cherokces or old settlers hereby release and quit claim to the United States all right, 
title, interest, or claim they may have to a common property in the Cherokee land cast 
of the Mississippi river, and to the exclusive ownership of the lands ceded to them by 
the treaty of 1833 west of the Jlississippi, including the outlet west, consenting and 
agreeing that the said land, together with the eight hundred thousand acres ceded to 
the Cherokees by the treaty of IS."?."!, xhall /'<• and remain the common property of the 
whole Cherokee people, themselves included.' 


The 9tli article provides "that the United States agree to make 
a fair and just settlement of all moneys due to the Cherokees, 
and subject to per capita division;" and the balance thus. found 
to be due shall be paid^er capita in equal amounts to all those 
individuals, heads of fomilies, or their legal representatives, enti- 
tled to receive tlie same under the treaty of 18-35 and the supple- 
ment of 183(5, being all those Cherokees residing east at the date 
of said treaty. 

The lOtli article provides : 

" It is expressly agreed tliar nothing in the foregoing troiity ?liall lie so construed as 
in any manner to take away or abridge auj' rights v/hich the Cherokees remaining in 
the States east of the Mississippi river had or may have under the treaty of 1835 and 
the supplement thereto." 

This provision of the treaty recognises the rights of the Chero- 
kees remaining in the State east, of continuing there as long as 
"^ tbey chose to do so, and at the same time re\-ives and perpetuates 

to them and their descendants, as a part of the " Cherokee peo- 
ple," their interest in the lands and annuities v;est, with the right 
to settle the lands at anj- subsequent period. The act of Congress 
of July 29, 1848, clearl}^ proves that that body considered the 
ISTorth Carolina Cherokees as having the same right to the land 
occupied by the "Cherokee people" west of the Mississippi river, 
as the portion of the tribe nov7 residing in that countiy. to wit : 

"Sec. 4. And he il further enacted, That the Secretary of War cause to be ascer- 
tained the numbeij and names of such individuals and families, including each member 
of every family of the Cherokee nation of Indians that remained in the State of North 
Carolina at the time of the ratification of the treaty of Xew Echota, Jlay twenty-three, 
eighteen hundred and thirty-six, and who have not removed west of the Mississippi, 
or received the commutation for removal and subsistence, and report the same to the 
Secretary of the Treasury, whereupon the Secretary of the Treasury shall set apart, out 
of anj' moneys in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, a sum equal to fifty-three 
dollars and thirty-three cents for each individual ascertained as aforesaid, and that he 
cause to be paid to every such individual, or his or her legal representative, interest at 
the rate of six per cent, per annum on such per capita, from the said twenty-third day 
of May, eighteen hundred and thirty-six, to the time of the passage of this act, and con- 
tinue annually thereafter said jjayment of interest at the rate aforesaid. 

" Sec. 5. And be it furier enacted, That whenever, hereafter, any individual or indi- 
viduals of said Cherokee Indians shall desire to remove and join the tiibe vrest of the 
Mississippi, then the Secretary of War shall be authorized to withdraw from the fund 
set apart as aforesaid the sum of fifty-three dollars and thirty-three cents, and the in- 
terest due and unpaid thereon, and apply the same, or such part thereof as shall be 
necessary to the removal and subsistence of such individual or individuals and paj' the 
remainder, if any, or the whole, if the said Indians or any of them shall prefer to remove 
themselves, to such individuals or heads of families upon their removal west of the Mi- 
ssissippi : Provided, That the amount herein required to be funded for the benefit of the 
said Cherokees in North Carolina, and the amount required to be paid them, shall be 
charged to the general Cherokee fund, under the treaty of New Ecliota, and shall be 
reimbursed therefrom." 

This act, like the 4th article of the treaty of 1846, referred to, 
provided for the removal of the North Carolina Cherokees to the 
Cherokee country west, at any subsequent period they may de- 

sire; but while they have tlie right fit any time to remove \ve?t, 
they also have ii right to remain in Xorth Carolina while it is 
their pleasure to do so; they have as perfect a right to chose to re- 
main east as to go ■west, it being entirely optional Avith them- 
selves. This law has set apart in the Treasury $53 38 for, each 
Indian, on which interest at the rate of six per cent, is to be paid 
to his or her legal representative Avhile they remain in tlie State; 
and at an}' perittd any of those Indians oi^ descendants desire to 
remove west, this principal is to he ■witlidravrn, and u.-cd in re- 
moving them, and subsisting them one year after their arrival to 
the land that was assigned by the government for a home for the 
whole Cherokee people. And it certainly was not contemplated 
by Congress that a part of the Cherokee people west, shoald, wilh- 
or.t the consent of those east, exercise the power of appropriating 
this common property to their exclusive use, to the exclusion of 
the Eastern C'herokecs, by which the former might deprive the 
latter of any home to remove to, and thus disappoint the benevo- 
lent intention of Congress in providing the means to remove them 

By the first article of the treaty of 1835,. as well as hx tlic snlv 
sequent tTcaty of 184G, and the act of Congress of Jul}- 29, 1848, 
the Chcrokees i emaining east formed a part of the " Cherokee 
people" with ^^hom the "exchange was made," and to whom the 
United States guarantied the lands as provided by the act of 1830. 
This land was therefore owned b3'the Cherokee family or " Chero- 
kee people^" according to the last census, taken in 1851, number 
west of the Mississippi 17,207 ; in the States east of the jMi^sis- 
sippi river, 2,133 ; in all, ■ 19,400, besides a small number em- 
braced in the agent's report., not included in the census of those 
east, wdiich gives a little upwards of 740 acres to each Cherokee 
Indian. In addition to the land received in exchange for their 
lands east, the Cherokee people have the following funds invested 
by the United States for their benefit, which formed a part of the 
consideration for the land ceded to the United States under the 
treaty of 1835, as shown by the 15th article of that treaty, a na- 
tional fund of. , §404,000 

For the purposes of education 300, 000 

Orphans' fund 50,000 


This, at six per cent, interest, gives an annual income of $45,240. 
And notwithstanding this large income, which is enjoyed exclu- 
sively by the portion of the tribe west, they seem to think it ne- 
cessary to cede away a part of the land owned b}^ the whole Cher- 
okee people in part to discharge the debts of the nation, which at 


"most ouii'lit not to (.'xcccd the oxjtoiises ol" a county oi'giini/.ation 
hi one of the States. 

In the iirst place, the agent has spoken but little I'oi' the au- 
tliorities ot tlie nation, or Cherokee ii;overnnient, in ivu'artl to its 
debt. It is the iirst j^overnnient ever known to exist and carry 
out its national affairs without lumng a reveuiU' law — a poorly 
managed governnient, tliat could not be made to support itself 
without the retrocession of a part of the common domain. Tlie 
latter, if adopted, will soon cause its extinction, and i)y the foi'iner 
would soon exonerate it of its endjarrassments. 

It will be necessary for tlie government of the United States to 
guard the interest of the portion of the tribe remaining m the 
States east, not only in the land, but also in the permanent funds 
of tlie nation. We consider that our rights thereto rest on strong 
equitable grounds. We contributed our proportion of ^500,000 
paid to the United States for tlie lands i)roposed to be receded. 

The policy of the United States, as shown by the acts of 1830 
and 1848, was to unite the tribe ; to guard and protect the rights 
of those remaining in the States east will favor that object. To 
permit one portion of the tribe to a}»propriate the common property 
of all, to their exclusive benefit, will have tlie effect to cause a 
dominant party. Tlie whole policy of the Principal Chief in 
protesting to the national council, proves it is considered that the 
smaller the number of the tribe the better the share. If the pro- 
test of the Principal Chief and the combination of the Cherokee 
agent, George Butler, esq., Avith the authorities of the same, be 
assented to by the great fathers of the whole Clierokee people 
against the diminutive portion of the tribe remaining in the State 
of J^orth Carolina, it would exclude them of their equal interest 
guarantied to them by treaty and recognized by the laws of Con- 
gress, and also by tlie State in which they reside. But certainly 
as the United States were bound "to protect the Cherokees against 
domestic violence," and failed to do it, which was the prime cause 
of many of the tribes now being out of the nation, they ought not 
to fail to protect their interest in any treaty that might be made. 
The necessity of such protection on the part of the government of 
the United States is clearly established by past experience, which 
has already obtained its power by a sacrifice of the best men in 
the nation, to continue measures to reduce the number and pre- 
vent a union of the tribe with the view of appropriating the whole 
propertey of the Cherokee people to their own benefit. 

Our right has ever been recognised to remove to the country- set 
apart for us west of the Mississippi river. If we 'have a right to 
settle on the land at any time, it is optional with us at what period 
to do so. The only objection that has ever been made, or plea, 
by the portion of the tribe west, was, that we had failed to remove 

to the hindni wot. I iider tlit- j>re?i'nt c>))scrvance of tlio a6.sunip- 
ticui and coiiil»inati(jn of the [nincipal authorities of tlie Cherokee, 
nation in rehitioii to our ri^rht.s and the jjrevious and present 
condition of the nation, with tiieir midnight a.^sa.-^sination.'^, lias 
that the appearance of uniting the tribe? Does the chief majesties 
intend carrying out the olijeet of their protest against the por- 
tion of tlie trihe east, direi-tl}' against treaty stipuhdions and the 
laws of Congress, and also against the opinion of Attorney Gene- 
ral J. ,r. Crittenden, of Ajiril lo, 1S.")1, as T have shown by the 
selected articles of the several treaties made with the Cherokee 
people, and by the several acts of Congress, all of which have 
recognised those rights ; and all provisions tliat have ever been 
made for the whole Cherokee peofile, have been made so as to 
guard the interest of the jiortion of the tribe east. 

The act of Congress of July 20, 1S4<S, is a further proof of their 
rights. It shows the intention of that benevolent body in carry- 
ing out in good faith the true construction and intention, by re- 
quiring the removal and subsistence of the eastern portion of the 
tribe to be so appropriated as to a[>itly it to their use, at any time 
they chose to remove west, to the lands guarantied to the whole 
Cherokee peojilc by the government of the United States, by pat- 
ent in fee simple, according to the 2d article of the treaty of 1835. 

To give further evidence of the detention of the portion of the 
tribe east, is the promise made to them by John Ross, the Principal 
Chief, to have the treaty set aside until he effected a contract on 
much more fiivoralde terms, according to his discretion. They 
would not emigrate to the west; they held on until the terms of 
the treaty expired, and. then they were forced by the United States 
troops to remove against their will or consent. Instead of setting 
aside the treaty, he effected a contract w^ith General Scott for the 
removal of them west of the Mississippi' river for a much larger 
sum than those were to have that removed themselves. The 
eighth article of the treaty limited the removal and subsistence of 
those that chose to remove themselves, to ^53 33. Instead of $20 
per head for removal, the chief and other chiefs were to have ^65 
per head for removal, which was $45 per head more than was 
paid to those Indians for removing themselves. Under this con- 
tract about twelve thousand removed west, which must have 
yielded to the contractors at least a profit of three hundred thous- 
and dollars. Had the Principal Chief, after making this contract, 
said to the Cherokecs that he had made an arrangement to re- 
move them west, and that the terms of the treaty would have to 
be complied with, all the Cherokee people would have adhered 
to it, and would have prevented the opposition which has been 
the cause of the separation of the Cherokee tribe, together with 



(he unsettled atfairs of the nation since the removal, and by other 
<:'au8es aforementioned. 

This country is endeared to us by the graves and sacred relics of 
our ancestors; the bones of our children, sisters, brothers, fathers, 
and mothers lie here ; Ave cannot leave them ; let us remain on 
the land of our fathers. Why ask us to remove west? Upon the 
lands that we are now protested against for claiming by the ex- 
ecutive of the nation. We once owned all the land that could be 
seen from the tops of our highest mountains. AVill you not per- 
mit us to enjoy in peace the small quantity we have purchased, 
and at least allow to us our proportional share of the lands that is 
guarantied to the whole Cherokee people by treaty stipulations, 
if it should be receded to the United States ? Under all circum- 
stances, were we to leave our mother soil and join you in the 
west, would we have any assurance of our lives, liberty, or prop- 
erty ? 

The Indian agent, after speaking of much dissatisfaction exist- 
ing relative to the North Carolina Cherokees for claiming an equal 
interest "in the neutral lands," says, "If those remaining in 
Carolina would remove west, &c., they would be received and 
welcomed as friends and brothers." 

Wliere are our brothers Avho were forced from the mountains 
of North Carolina ? Two-thirds have been buried in that country. 

I have no hesitation in believing that we would not at once be 
admitted to equal rights with those subjects before us, and be 
welcomed by bloody hands and hospitable graves. Where are the 
Ridges, that were massacred in presence of their families, as 
though they were beasts ; the Boudinots, that were shot and bru- 
tally murdered without knowing the accusation, and the Starrs, 
that were murdered on their farms, and many others, who were 
promised the protection of the United States — have they not been 
massacred ? Their blood cries from the ground. Where are their 
midnight assassins ? Have they not been pardoned by the Chero- 
kee government wdthout trial, contrary to both law and treaty ? 
Why is it that the Indian agent recommends to our great father 
that we be required to remove west, if we have no interest there, 
and join a government too weak and too unjust to protect us, and 
leave the State where our lives, liberties, and property are secured; 
where our rights to remain are guarantied by solemn treaties ? 

K it be deemed advisable by the general government to pur- 
chase from the Cherokee people the lands proposed to be receded, 
the Cherokees east are not disposed to interpose objections, pro- 
vided their proportion be added to the fund set apart under the 
act of Congress of July 29, 1848 ; the interest to be paid and the 
principal applied in the same manner as the fund set apart under 

D 1.4 Byn^ 


that act. But if this is not done, I claim the right, as having a 
common interest, and in behalf of those whom I represent in the 
State of North Carolina, to protest against the conclusion and 
ratification of the treaty ; and if ratified without an amendment 
in our fiivor, will consider that the United States justly owe to 
the iSTorth Carolina Cherokees a sum equal to their just propor- 
tion of the common property which may be conveyed or trans- 
ferred without their consent. 

I respectfully request that this explanation of our rights be sent 
to the President of the United States, and filed in behalf as afore- 

Respectfully, your obedient servant, 


















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